Over the weekend, Randy Brinker opened Sweet Mickey’s, his absurdly adorable new candy shop on NW 57th Street in Ballard. As My Ballard reported recently, both the store and its name are inspired by Brinker’s grandmother. Mickey Brinker raised her grandson, but also ran a party and catering shop that served as a local gathering place back in St. Louis.
After 17 years working in corporate sales for Dell, then Apple, Brinker happened upon this empty storefront, overlooking Ballard Commons Park, and started formulating a business plan. He has his grandmother’s cookie recipes, and initially considered baking But ultimately, his passionate love of gummy cola bottles won out, propelling Brinker to this minty-green storefront, now stocked with nearly 130 types of candy (more are on the way from England and Canada).
Jars and drawers and cases are filled with all manner of gummies and jellies, including Swedish fish, jellybeans, gummi bears, and two sizes of those cola bottles. Given Ballard’s Scandinavian roots, Brinker says he also made a point to offer a broad selection of licorice. A particularly kid-friendly corner of the store sells 32 items, including candy necklaces, Pixy Sticks, and little chocolate coins, for 10 cents apiece. A portrait of Mickey hands over the wall of gummies and jellies, which sell for $2.50 a quarter-pound. Brinker is also laying in a store of retro sweets, including Flicks candy bars and Juicy Fruit and Fruit Stripe gum, “things that you don’t see at grocery stores.”
Once I recovered from the news that Fruit Stripe and Juicy Fruit gum are considered retro, Brinker told me about his selection of Bluebird ice cream and chocolates from local makers like Trevani and Seattle Sweets. If you prefer sugary indulges of a chillier nature, Sweet Mickey’s serves up scoops, sundaes, root beer floats, milkshakes and old-fashioned malts.
The store opens at 11 every day, and stays upen until 9 most nights, and 10 on Friday and Saturday, at least for the summer. Hit up the slideshow for a glimpse into this charming little shop and its sweet wares.